Business Briefs – April 12, 2016

Finance Officials Facing Chronically Weak Global Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) – World finance officials who meet in Washington this week confront a bleak picture: Eight years after the financial crisis erupted, the global economy remains fragile and at risk of another recession.

The IMF on Tuesday downgraded its outlook for growth for most regions and for the global economy as a whole. It now foresees a weaker financial landscape than it did in January. Like the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the IMF has repeatedly overestimated the strength of the world economy in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Demand for the New Tesla Is Wild, But Limited to Tech Fans

DETROIT (AP) – Demand for Tesla’s new Model 3 has been eye-popping, with consumers pre-ordering about $13.7 billion worth of the electric sedans nearly two years before they go on sale.

Yet experts aren’t yet ready to proclaim it’s a tipping point with mainstream America moving from burning gasoline to charging batteries.

The reason? Most of the 325,000 people worldwide who put down $1,000 deposits are tech-savvy, environmentally conscious early adopters who see Tesla as an innovative brand that meets their needs. The $35,000 price tag and the Model 3’s 215-mile range are important, but the brand’s tech image and CEO Elon Musk’s success in cars, rockets and solar panels are the main drivers.

U.S. Budget Deficit Up Sharply To $108 Billion in March

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government’s budget deficit rose sharply in March, pushing the deficit for the first six months of this budget year above the same period a year ago.

The Treasury Department says the deficit for March totaled $108.0 billion. That marks the biggest March deficit in four years and was more than double the imbalance in March 2015. The large jump from a year ago reflected calendar shifts, which had made the 2015 deficit look smaller because $36 billion in benefit payments were shifted into February.

EU Wants Companies to Disclose Where They Pay Taxes

BRUSSELS (AP) – The EU’s executive wants thousands of multinationals to disclose in what member states they make money and pay taxes, an effort to close loopholes and crack down on the use of tax havens.

Reacting to public anger over recent revelations of offshore accounts, EU Taxation Commissioner Jonathan Hill said he wanted “to make sure that taxes are paid where profits are generated.”

He proposes companies that have over 750 million euros ($850 million) in global revenues and do business in the EU should publish how much income tax they pay in each member state and how much they pay on outside-EU business.

Garden-Care Giant to Drop Chemicals Linked to Bee Declines

DENVER (AP) — Garden-care giant Ortho said Tuesday that it will stop using a class of chemicals widely believed to harm bees as concerns rise about the health of the insects that pollinate a big portion of plants that people eat.

The company plans to phase out neonicotinoids by 2021 in eight products used to control garden pests and diseases. The chemicals, called neonics for short, attack the central nervous systems of insects. Some advocates say neonics are one of several reasons behind declining populations of bees.